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FOURTH AMENDMENT LIMITATIONS ON NON BORDER SEARCHES FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS - THE IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE MEETS THE CONSTITUTION

NCJ Number
49980
Journal
Ohio State Law Journal Volume: 39 Issue: 1 Dated: (1978) Pages: 66-95
Author(s)
R S CATZ
Date Published
1978
Annotation
U.S. SUPREME COURT CASES THAT PLACE LIMITS ON THE POWER OF IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS TO SEARCH FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS ARE EXAMINED, ALONG WITH TRADITIONAL IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE (INS) ENFORCEMENT PRACTICES.
Abstract
THE INS IS THE FEDERAL AGENCY IN CHARGE OF ENFORCING REGULATIONS OVER ALIENS. MOST INS ABUSE, A RESULT OF EFFORTS TO ENFORCE IMMIGRATION LAWS AGAINST ILLEGAL ALIENS, IS SUFFERED BY MEXICAN-AMERICANS. AGENTS OF THE INS, FOR EXAMPLE, RANDOMLY INTERROGATE INDIVIDUALS ON CITY STREETS AND OTHER PUBLIC PLACES ABOUT THEIR CITIZENSHIP. OPERATIONS OF THE INS IN ONE AREA OF ILLINOIS ARE REPORTED. THE AUTHORITY OF THE INS TO STOP AND INTERROGATE AND ITS CONSTITUTIONAL LIMITS ARE DISCUSSED. COURT CASES INVOLVING NONBORDER SEARCHES FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS ARE CITED. U.S. SUPREME COURT CASES THAT LIMIT THE POWER OF IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS TO SEARCH FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS ARE AN IMPORTANT INDICATION THAT MANY TRADITIONAL INS ENFORCEMENT PRACTICES WILL NOT BE TOLERATED UNDER THE FOURTH AMENDMENT. THERE IS A NATURAL TENSION BETWEEN THE NEED TO STEM THE FLOW OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS AND THE RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS TO BE FREE FROM REASONABLE INS INTRUSIONS. COURTS HAVE PUT TO REST THE NOTION THAT ENFORCEMENT PROBLEMS ALONE JUSTIFY INTRUSIONS ON THE FOURTH AMENDMENT. SINCE EMPLOYMENT IS THE PRIMARY REASON FOR ILLEGAL ENTRY, ALTERNATIVE POLICIES IN ADDITION TO INCREASING LAW ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS NEED TO BE DEVELOPED TO REDUCE INCENTIVES FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS TO COME TO THE UNITED STATES. ONE SUGGESTED METHOD IS TO IMPOSE CRIMINAL PENALTIES ON THE EMPLOYERS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS. (DP)